I ran across this story a few days ago from the AP:
E-cigs: No smoke, but some areas are banning them
It has been more than a few months since the state wide smoking ban on public accessible places took effect. Many new norms are now in place, business that like to have smokers have found ways to accommodate them, smokers have found way to comply with the law. Some have quit, some only go to places that have accommodations for smokers, others just control their habit to light up and others have turned to using an E-cigarette.
Some places will allow them, others won’t, and some will allow them, until someone complains. I have witnessed them being used in hospitals, clinics and schools and yet banned from bars and restaurants.
A couple of years ago the American Medical Association (AMA) recommended to FDA that the devices should be banned because they did not know what was in them or how they affected people. The FDA did the AMA’s bidding, banned them, and seized a shipment of e-cigarettes. The FDA was promptly sued, and lost (although they did win the appeal) The FDA then decided to regulate them as a tobacco item rather than a (banned) medical delivery device.
There are a few work places that will allow these devices to be used in the work place. Their reasoning is a 2003 New Zealand study that shows workers who switched to e-cigarettes in the work place, rather than step out-side for a smoke break are on the average 35% more productive than their smoking counterparts, twice as more likely to quit completely and lower absenteeism by 27%. There are still some work places that will not allow them, because they don’t know the long term health risks.
It’s not clear what risks secondhand e-cig vapor holds. It’s mostly just water, even though it looks like smoke. The Food and Drug Administration has said its tests found the liquid in some electronic cigarettes contained toxins besides nicotine as well as carcinogens that occur naturally in tobacco. But nobody has studied what onlookers might be inhaling.
This statement is not completely true. The E-juice that is heated and vaporized, contains nicotine, propylene glycol or glycerine, and sometimes some kind of flavoring. The nicotine is small and is almost instantly adsorbed, very little if any is exhaled. Propylene glycol is used in several every day products, from dog food to cosmetics to food, however it is most known for making smoke in theater smoke machines. The most common flavoring is candy type flavoring. What is exhaled is not ‘mostly water vapor’ however it does dissipate faster than cigarette smoke, and doesn’t leave a residue.
Still some people are dead set against the idea…..
Still, the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, a group that has helped states and localities draft laws on smoking bans, includes electronic cigarettes in its model legislation due to the fears over the safety of the devices.
“They raise significant health concerns for us. We don’t know what is in the vapor mist, we don’t know what else is in the contents of that electronic cigarette,” said Cynthia Hallett, executive director of the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. “The good news is more research being done. … We may learn more, and if in the end they’re safe, we’ll have to revisit.”
But she said that to be allowed in places where regular cigarettes are banned, electronic cigarettes wouldn’t just have to be safer; they’d have to “do no harm.”
If by using these devices people are able to quit, great. I do not look at e-cigarette as means to quit smoking, merely an alternative. You are trading one habit for another.
There are some rumors that the anti e-cigarette movement is well funded, by the tobacco industry.
Should E-cigarettes be banned like the ‘real’ thing, or should business and people be free to decide on their own what is allowed and where?